The Accidental Barista

Gail hid in the supply closet with a kettle of hot water. She could hear Mr. Abernathy approaching and calling her name.

Gail’s boss, Mr. Abernathy, declared himself the company’s lead coffee aficionado, giving credit of his newfound tastes to his expensive gourmet espresso machine. 

“It’s said to enhance the flavor notes of every bean! I’ve discovered I can taste the saltwater of the Carribean, the savannas of Africa, even the Brazilian rainforest in every drop,” he said. 

Gail, herself, was a tea drinker. She didn’t care for the taste of coffee. But last week, Mr. Abernathy announced a major change in their office’s refreshments policy. Effective immediately, all beverage dispensers, soda machines and water coolers, would be replaced with espresso machines.

“And, furthermore, one employee is responsible for brewing me a cup of their favorite coffee for the weekly meeting. This is a zero-tolerance policy. No exceptions,” he threatened.

“I forgot, I forgot, I forgot,” Gail muttered to herself. It was her week to bring the coffee. Mr. Abernathy was about to discover her hiding spot and all she had was this steaming hot kettle of water. It was now or never.

Abernathy opened the door. “There you are, Gail. The meeting’s started. Bring the coffee, please,” he said.

Gail nodded. “Absolutely, sir.”

All eyes were glued to Gail as she poured Mr. Abernathy his cup of coffee. It was inky black with a slight tinge of blue. He slurped his first sip and gulped down the rest.

“Fabulous, Gail. I’ve never had such an amazing coffee before. I’m promoting you to chief barista officer,” he said through blue-stained teeth.

“Thank you, sir,” Gail said with a half grin. She hid the printer ink cartridge behind her back.

🔬📖 Microfiction entry for 12.2.2020
🖼 by Ronald Kuang (@seerlight)